Tharu leaders’ district meetings to plan protests against polls

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 28, 2017-Tharu leaders from across the party line are meeting in the Tarai districts on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of reviving the campaign for a united Tharuhat/Tharuwan province ahead of the planned local level elections.

The deliberation comes days before a series of protests announced by the Tharuhat/Tharuwan Joint Struggle Committee (TJSC) against the local polls scheduled for May 14. The broad alliance of Tharu groups last week said it would start the protest for a united Tharuhat/Tharuwan on March 3.

Tuesday’s programme will be attended by the affiliates of the TJSC including political parties and the Tharu Kalyankarini Sabha, an apolitical organisation tied with the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Communities (Nefin), TJSC Coordinator Dhani Ram Chaudhary said in a statement.

Tuesday’s meetings will be held in 23 districts of the Tarai and in Kathmandu.

“It will be chaired by the district presidents of Tharu Kalyankarini Sabha. All the district chapters have been asked to hash out protest plans against the polls. They will independently execute those plans. Since many senior Tharu leaders are in jail or on the run due to politically motivated charges, they won’t attend the events,” a senior TJSC leader told the Post.

The TJSC does not oppose the election completely but says it should take place after resolving the row over the federal and local boundaries. The agitating groups have demanded realignment of Kailali, Kanchanpur and Nawalparasi districts with Province 5.

“The boundaries should be determined according to the agreement reached between the government and Tharu groups. Our struggle won’t stop until that happens,” said Raj Kumar Lekhi, former chairman of Nefin.

TJSC’s 11-day protest is expected to begin with a torch rally and conclude with a mass meeting in Kathmandu on March 13. There will be rallies from Kanchanpur to Jhapa during the period.

Published: 28-02-2017 09:28

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